Tag Archives: Corus Entertainment

Iron Chef Canada reigns supreme on October 17

From a media release:

Allez Cuisine! Today, Food Network Canada unveiled its exceptional culinary cast and premiere date for the great white north’s Iron Chef Canada (10×60), set to debut on October 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. At the helm is Canadian television personality, accomplished food writer and trained culinary expert Gail Simmons as host, critically acclaimed food critic Chris Nuttall-Smith as floor reporter and Vancouver-native Jai West as the dynamic chairman. The final two Iron Chefs slated to command the competition include Ottawa-born vegetarian chef and owner of award-winning New York City restaurant Dirt Candy, Amanda Cohen, and prominent Vancouver-based chef and Culinary Director of Cactus Club, Rob Feenie – both former Iron Chef America competitors. Chefs Cohen and Feenie join previously announced Canadian Iron Chefs, Hugh Acheson, Lynn Crawford and Susur Lee.

In every episode, Monogram appliances elevate the head-to-head battles between the Iron Chefs and notable chef competitors in the finely crafted Monogram kitchen stadium. Each has 60 minutes to prepare five dishes using a featured “secret ingredient” and the chef with the highest score from the rotating judging panel wins the epic battle and supreme bragging rights. Stay tuned for more information on which Canadian chef competitors are lined up to compete this fall.

Learn more about the cast of Iron Chef Canada:

Gail Simmons, Host, @gailsimmonseats
Gail Simmons is a trained culinary expert, food writer, and dynamic television personality. Born and raised in Toronto, Ont., Gail moved to New York City in 1999 to attend culinary school at the Institute of Culinary Education. Gail has lent her expertise as a permanent judge on Bravo’s Emmy-winning series Top Chef and was named the #1 Reality TV Judge in America by the New York Post. Gail’s first book, a memoir titled Talking With My Mouth Full, was published in 2012. Her first cookbook, Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating, was released in 2017 and was nominated for an IACP award for “Best General Cookbook.” Gail writes a monthly column for Food & Wine magazine and works closely with the country’s top culinary talent on events and initiatives. In 2016, she received the Award of Excellence by Spoons Across America, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating children about the benefits of healthy eating. She is an active board member and supporter of City Harvest, Hot Bread Kitchen, Common Threads, and the Institute of Culinary Education.

Chris Nuttall-Smith, Floor Reporter, @cnutsmith
Chris Nuttall-Smith is editor-in-chief and founder of thetaster.ca, a subscription site for trustworthy restaurant, food and wine reviews. He’s worked as food editor, chief critic and dining columnist at Toronto Life, restaurant critic for enRoute (he wrote the magazine’s celebrated Canada’s Best New Restaurant list in 2009), and more recently, national food reporter and Toronto restaurants columnist for The Globe and Mail. Nuttall-Smith’s writing on food, drink and other subjects has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Esquire, New York magazine, Toro and Lucky Peach, as well as on the podcast The Fridgelight, which he created and hosted. He’s also a resident judge on Food Network Canada’s Top Chef Canada.

Jai West, Chairman, @monsieurwest
Born in Vancouver, B.C., Jai West began his acting career in his teens as a series regular on the popular teen show Kidzone. He also had many roles on TV and film in the U.S. and Canada including guest appearances in Highlander, The Odyssey and 21 Jump Street and more. In Japan he has starred in high-grossing films such as Worst Contact, Bus Panic and Private Detective Mike. In 2004, Jai took on a key role in the Japanese box office hit Survive Style 5+ the directorial debut of creative duo Tada Taku and Sekiguchi Gen. Jai has also received praise for the poetry he creates under the pseudonym ‘Lotus Chamelion’. In 2016, Jai was cast as the lead opposite Dree Hemingway and Pamela Anderson in the psychological thriller The People Garden directed by Canadian filmmaker Nadia Litz.

Amanda Cohen, Canadian Iron Chef, @dirtcandynyc
Amanda Cohen is the chef and owner of Dirt Candy, an award-winning vegetable-only restaurant on New York City’s Lower East Side. Born in Ottawa and raised in Toronto, Ont. Cohen moved to New York to attend university and never left. Dirt Candy was the first vegetable-focused restaurant in New York when it opened in 2008. The restaurant’s original 18-seat location was open for six years and during that time became the first vegetarian restaurant in 17 years to receive two stars from the New York Times, was recognized by the Michelin Guide five years in a row, and won awards from Gourmet Magazine, the Village Voice, and others. Cohen was the first vegetarian chef to compete on Iron Chef America and her comic book cookbook, Dirt Candy: A Cookbook, is the first graphic novel cookbook to be published in North America.

Rob Feenie, Canadian Iron Chef, @cactusclubcafe
Rob Feenie is currently the Culinary Director of Cactus Club based in Vancouver, B.C. Feenie grew up in Burnaby and graduated from the Dubrulle Culinary Institute. Feenie began his career as a sous chef in notable restaurants such as Le Crocodile and Cherry Stone Cove in Vancouver, and The Rim Rock Café in Whistler. He trained with Chef Emile Jung at Au Crocodile and Chef Antoine Westermann at Le Buerehiesel, both Michelin three-star rated restaurants in Alsace, France. Feenie went on to open his own restaurant, the internationally celebrated Lumière, in Vancouver, followed by Lumière Tasting Bar and Feenie’s. On Food Network Canada, Feenie hosted the series New Classics with Chef Rob Feenie and in 2005, he became the first Canadian to win Iron Chef America by defeating Chef Masaharu Morimoto. Feenie has written four cookbooks and is a two-time Vancouver Gold Medal Plates winner. He has received the coveted Relais Gourmand and Traditions et Qualité designations, the Mobil Travel Guide four-stars designation and the AAA Five Diamond Award.

To learn more about the series, Canadian Iron Chefs, catch behind the scenes content and watch episodes online after they premiere, visit www.foodnetwork.ca.

Food Network Canada is available on a National Free Preview for the month of October. Please check local listings for additional details.

Iron Chef Canada is produced by Proper Television in association with Corus Entertainment’s Food Network Canada and based on the original ‘Iron Chef’ Series Produced by Fuji Television Network, Inc.

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Global greenlights new primetime medical drama Nurses

From a media release:

Adding to its acclaimed roster of Canadian original series, Global proudly announces new primetime medical drama Nurses (working title), set to premiere on the network in 2019. From independent studio Entertainment One (eOne), the 10×60 series is executive produced by Ilana Frank (Rookie Blue), of ICF Films and Vanessa Piazza (Dark Matter) of Piazza Entertainment, with Adam Pettle named as writer, showrunner, and executive producer, and Tassie Cameron serving as executive producer. The series follows four young nurses working on the frontlines of St. Jude’s hospital dedicating their lives to helping others, while figuring out how to help themselves.

Stationed in every tendril of a busy downtown trauma centre and thrust into frontline medical action, Nurses sees four recent graduates beginning their careers in a high-stakes hospital with pressure cooker training. Forming an inextricable bond, the nurses struggle to find a work-life balance that matches and counters the intensity of their new job. Their interaction with patients, relatives, and staff quickly leads them to the discovery that nursing isn’t just about biology, chemistry, and anatomy, it’s also about psychology, compassion, and romantic complications.

Nurses executive producer, Ilana Frank, appears today on the Corus Entertainment-sponsored panel, The Future of Scripted: Women in Power Tell All. Hosted at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Toronto, the panel takes place during C21 Media’s Content Canada conference, a part of TIFF’s industry offering. With opening remarks from Corus’ Executive Vice President and COO, Barb Williams, and moderated by Divya Shahani, Entertainment Lawyer, Hall Webber LLP, the featured panelists are: Ilana Frank (Rookie Blue, Nurses), Sheila Hockin (Vikings), Tassie Cameron (Mary Kills People), Julia Sereny (Ransom), and Alex Zarowny (Private Eyes). For more information visit www.contentcanada.net.

This newly greenlit series comes on the heels of Global’s recent renewals for Ransom, Mary Kills People, Private Eyes, and Big Brother Canada.

Nurses is produced by ICF Films, in association with eOne and Corus Entertainment, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.

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Slice’s Stitched gives fashion designers the chance to sew up $10,000

Toronto Fashion Week is just wrapping up. It’s not only a time for veteran designers to show their latest wares but an opportunity for up-and-comers to display their chops too. It’s happening on the small screen as well, thanks to Stitched.

Credit Corus Entertainment for some great timing; Stitched is debuting this Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Slice when Fashion Week is still fresh in everyone’s minds. Hosted by Canadian fashion model and actress Kim Cloutier and judged by fashion veteran Joe Zee and Elle Canada editor-in-chief Vanessa Craft, Stitched challenges North American designers to be creative with unique materials (Sunday’s debut boasts fun faux fur) while under a serious time crunch.

Each instalment finds four designers going head-to-head in a trio of themed challenges. Each test is followed by judging under the scrutiny of Zee, Craft and a rotating panel of guest judges including Hayley Elsaesser, Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong, Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan, and Ania B. The one contestant left standing in each of the 12 episodes will pocket $10,000.

We spoke to Zee and Craft about why they got involved in the project and what viewers can expect when they tune in.

Vanessa, you’re the editor of Elle Canada and well-established in the industry. What attracted you to Stitched? Were you interested in doing TV?
Vanessa Craft: Well mostly, I’m asked to do appearances or speak on fashion trends and things like that on television programs or news programs. It’s something I’m definitely comfortable with. When it came to Stitched, it’s a no-brainer. It was actually getting to see something I love, fashion created right in front of us because I would be able to support the designers who are in various stages of their careers. Which is also something I love to do because you want to support talent in whatever way that you can. I was just really, really attracted to not only the premise of the show, but the construct is getting to meet so many different designers over a period of 12 episodes.

Joe, how about you? 
Joe Zee: Well, I grew up in Toronto. This is my hometown. Then, I get moved to New York and I’ve been there now for like what, almost 30 years. I love supporting anything that is Canadian homegrown. I’m so glad to have been come from here and all this. Any time anyone calls, I’m always very intrigued and excited about being able to participate. And, when I got the call from Forté, the production company behind this, they had actually called me to do a guest judge on Project Runway Canada 10 years ago. I remember when I came to do it, in Ottawa, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, the production value is amazing.’ To this day, I talk about how great that show was, how great the production was, and I was like, ‘This is totally going to be spectacular. I’ve got to be a part of this.’ So, it was a no-brainer for me to just come back here after 30 years and to participate in fashion and at the same time know that it’s gonna be top quality and premium product.

And this is an incredible prize, I mean, $10,000 being given away each week. That’s a life changer for some people, right Joe?
JZ: Oh, I mean, it makes me wanna go learn how to sew. I mean, it’s incredible. The reality is that you can come to a show and really show off your talent and promote who you are as a designer. And potentially walk home with an incredible prize. I mean, who doesn’t want to see that?

Vanessa, do you really see winning as being able to further somebody’s career if they’re relatively new to the industry?
VC: Regardless of the stage you are in your career, because it’s not just the money, of course, it helps put a dent in the huge cost that it takes to run a fashion line and support yourself, but also, the exposure of the show is going to result in you ending up with so many people seeing what you’re doing, so many people coming into social meetings to find you, so many people who might even want to buy your clothes. I think it’s wonderful to see the difference between having designers that are established and shown at Toronto Fashion Week, and designers that maybe are self-taught, and learned on YouTube, or from someone in their family, or something like that. So, yeah, I think the money’s incredibly important, but it doesn’t really matter only about the money.

Clothes are an art and art is subjective. Joe, what do you look for when you’re looking at a design from somebody?
JZ: I love this question. We have posited it so much in the last year or two and I think the reality’s like, it is subjective and we keep saying that that’s what fashion is, but it’s such an emotional connection with clothes that it never really is, no pun intended, black or white. And, a lot of times, what I like, Vanessa might not, and what Vanessa likes, I might not, and that’s OK. Neither of us is wrong or right. We are here to guide, really the designer and also everybody watching. It’s just what our personal feelings are. I don’t really have a checklist. Yes, of course, we look for good construction and credible creativity, a vision, a point of view. But there were times, literally, when we walked out with their creation. I was like, ‘Man that’s not well made. It’s not really constructed well, I’m not sure … I will tell you that I still love it. I kinda like what you’re intending to do. You just didn’t have time, your execution fell short, but what you’ve put in there, the idea, it was really a winning idea.’

VC: I think that’s a truly great question because we’re essentially looking at something that is subjective, so how do you know whether it’s good or not? Well, it’s a combination of instinct, of course. It’s a combination of your taste. It’s a combination of what drives you. But I do think what fashion is supposed to make you feel, what fashion’s supposed to represent is that you get the message you take to world about yourself, and that is up to you. And for Joe and I to say, ‘This works for me or this doesn’t work for me,’ yes, it’s just an opinion. It’s an informed opinion and it’s very important. And it’s also an opinion where we’ve seen a lot. At the end of the day, it’s really coming down to do they grab our emotion? Do we have an emotional connection to the fact the designer’s trying to say, to the story the designer’s trying to tell, does the designer have a point?

Stitched airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Slice.

Image courtesy of Corus Entertainment.

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Preview: “Adorbs” Star Falls joins YTV’s Friday night lineup

What happens when a girl schemes to have her mother fall in love with the big-screen superstar who’s filming his latest project in her small town?

That’s the premise of Star Falls, YTV’s latest series, debuting Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on the channel. Produced by Breakthrough Entertainment, filmed in Toronto and Port Hope, Ont., and starring a raft of Canadians in the lead roles, Star Falls is part fish out of water story, part family comedy and part The Brady Bunch.

Created by George Doty IV, the adventure begins in Los Angeles when actor Craig Brooks (Dion Johnstone) informs his three children Diamond (Kamaia Fairburn), Phoenix (Jadiel Dowlin) and Bo (Marcus Cornwall) that he’s headed to a small town to film a movie over the summer … and they’re coming with him. Diamond, in particular, is not looking forward to it.

Three weeks later and the Brooks family is in Star Falls where we meet Sophia (Siena Agudong) and her mother, Beth (Elena V. Wolfe). When she’s not pulling lost dogs out from under leafy porches and working at the local animal rescue, Sophia dreams of doing something nice for Beth. And, since Beth is a huge fan of Craig Brooks, Sophia figures a way for them to meet.

It’s a familiar premise done in TV and other mediums, but it really works in Star Falls. I credit that to the writing—more on that below—and the on-screen chemistry between the cast. Agudong and Wolfe are totally convincing as mother and daughter and rather than go for the tired trope of having Beth be oblivious to her daughter’s life, they’re equals and connect. And, rather than pose Craig’s kids as super-annoying in order to get laughs (another gimmick), in Star Falls they’ve got good hearts and want the best for their dad, even if it does mean being outside of their comfort zone.

The writing is tight in Episode 1 thanks to veteran scribes in folks like Jennifer Daley, Cole Bastedo, Laura Seaton and Meghan Read, many of whom worked with Doty on Max & Shred. The result? A truly “adorbs” series worthy of your time.

Star Falls airs Fridays at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on YTV.

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Preview: History’s doc series Bud Empire rolls up on pot sales as Canada heads toward legalization

I don’t—and have never—smoked marijuana. Growing up, I didn’t know anyone who did and when it was offered I declined. As a result, I don’t have any skin in the game as Canada inches closer to the legalization—voting on Bill C-45 is scheduled for June —of recreational marijuana in this country. But tuning in to History’s latest original series, Bud Empire certainly educated me in the drug and what being able to sell it as an entrepreneur.

Debuting Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on the specialty network, the seven-part Bud Empire—narrated by Will Sasso—introduces viewers to Bob Kay, the owner of Be Kind, the Okanagan’s original Compassion Club. Episode 1, with its guitar-driven soundtrack, introduces Kay as he reveals B.C.’s Okanagan Valley is dotted with pot grow-ops mixed in with other crops. It’s a $5 billion industry and Kay aims to be “the King of Weed.” That title comes with challenges in the form of robbery, extortion, violence and Kay potentially being arrested for selling.

But Bud Empire isn’t about the furtive exchange of money for pot in a shadowy alley or groups of stoners lounging in a room filled with smoke; the program explores not only Kay’s family life (including his creatively-named kids) but how he’s running and, hopefully, expanding his business. This could be a series about any entrepreneur wanting to sell a product; the hook is that Kay sells marijuana. Kay welcomes salespeople into Be Kind, analyzing and sampling their weed and deeming if it’s up to his high standards and worthy of being in his store. Watching bunches of twenties exchange hands over bags of pot is certainly something to see.

Kay works a grey area of the law but he believes what he and others are doing is really helping; medical marijuana helps alleviate chronic pain and other ailments. Still, rules in Kelowna, B.C., could put him out of business and in jail.

Produced by Screen Siren Pictures Inc. and HLP + Partners, Trish Dolman (Canada in a Day)—Bud Empire‘s executive producer and director—offers a wonderful, educational and heartfelt peek into the life of man eking out a business in a rapidly-changing landscape.

Bud Empire airs back-to-back episodes on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History.

Image courtesy of Corus Entertainment.

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